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is the second amendment. i continue my objection to the provision. mr. mccain: may i be recognized? the presiding officer: the senator from arizona. mr. mccain: what we have here after 12 hiewrs today, eight hours yesterday and 42 amendments and many more coming in a manager's package, what we have is a situation where the senator from new york because of his passion which he just are a articulated refuses to allow the senator from oklahoma his rights as a senator, and that would be, since we have -- since we have taken up this legislation with amendments and votes with 51-vote majority in -- as applicable, we have moved through, i'm very proud to say, a very i think good process that i think all of us can be proud of. but the senator from new york because of his passion and commitment and belief, all of which i respect, will now prevent the senator from oklahoma from having his amendment considered. why? because he's afraid he will lose. the senator from south carolina and the senator from new hampshire and i have been losing all day long. and i'm passionate about that. but i woul
at 2:00 p.m. mr. mccain: inquiry of the chair, what are we waiting for? mr. levin: mr. president? the presiding officer: to get on the amendment offered by the senator from colorado. the senator from michigan. mr. levin: first, i would ask unanimous consent that my statements for the amendments be inserted into the record at this point. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. levin: secondly, i understand that senator baucus and senator march are on their -- senator murray are on their way and wish five minutes each to speak relative to this amendment. i would ask unanimous consent that between now and 1:00 that they -- that five minutes then be allocated to each of those two senators and that the amendment then still would be the pending amendment. i ask unanimous consent that we now proceed to the amendment of senator mccain, and when those two senators arrive and are recognized, that they be allowed to speak for five minutes each on the udall amendment. the presiding officer: is there objection to the request for extra time for senator baucus and senator murray? without
. the presiding officer: the senator from arizona. mr. mccain: mr. president, i ask unanimous consent to address the senate as if in morning business. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. mccain: mr. president, i have a resolution at the desk and stk for its consideration -- and ask for its consideration. the presiding officer: the resolution will be received and appropriately referred. mr. mccain: thank you, mr. president. this resolution calls for an establishment of a select committee of the senate to make a thorough and complete investigation of the facts and circumstances surrounding, and the response of the united states government to the september 11, 2012, terrorist attacks against the united states consolate and personnel in benghazi, libya, and to make recommendations to prevent similar attacks in the future. i send that to the desk in behalf of myself, senator graham of south carolina, and senator ayotte of new hampshire. mr. president, before i go into the need for this select committee -- and there clearly is a need because there is a huge credibility gap amongst the americ
to the vote. the presiding officer: is there objection? mr. mccain: reserving the right to object, and i will not object. i believe, mr. chairman, that we will have a package also following this of amendments that have been cleared by both sides. i'd just like to express my personal appreciation for the cooperative and compromising fashion in which this unanimous consent agreement was entered into. i'd like to thank all parties, including the chairperson of the intelligence committee and others, and i think this will allow us to move forward and complete this legislation sooner rather than later. there's still a lot of amendments that have been filed, and at some point that has to stop and at some point we're going to have to finish up all of these, many of them are duplicative and many of them are really not particularly necessary. but we -- i think we've made a giant step forward and i'm confident we can complete this authorization bill, and we'll continue the record of now some 51 years of having completed an authorization bill. i thank the chairman for his leadership. the presiding o
of the house, john boehner, by john mccain's own bff in the senate, joe lieberman, he also disagrees with mr. mccain on this. same goes for susan collins of maine who did go to the classified briefing yesterday and noted publicly that john mccain was not there. even though it was his committee. mccain's special investigation idea was also shot down today by republican senator richard burr who said, quote, i think you've got to allow the structure we have of oversight to function and i think the intelligence committee is more than capable of handling this. in other words, the senate is getting information so maybe we should, you know, get information instead of continuing to scream on tv about not getting information. here's how you know when somebody is being disingenuous. when they demand something and then you give them that thing that they just keep demanding about and they pretend that you're not giving it to them and they just keep making the demand anyway as if it hasn't been met. john mccain obviously sees some advantage somewhere in continuing to scream on tv about the fact he's not
, they said they >> i ask for its consideration. >> the resolution will be received. mccain: thank you, mr. president. this resolution calls for an establishment of a select committee of the senate to make a thorough and complete investigation of the facts and circumstances surrounding, and the response of the united states government to the september 11, 2012, terrorist attacks against the united states consolate and personnel in benghazi, libya, and to make recommendations to prevent similar attacks in the future. i send that to the desk in behalf of myself, senator graham of south carolina, and senator ayotte of new hampshire. mr. president, before i go into the need for this select committee -- and there clearly is a need because there is a huge credibility gap amongst the american people because of the now going on eight weeks of contradictory reports, contradictory statements beginning with the president of the united states. the president of the united states, on the day of the -- on september 12, went to the rose garden and stated that he opposed terrorist attacks. and then that ev
. the presiding officer: is there objection? it is so ordered. mr. mccain: mr. president, i just want to say all of these amendments have been cleared on our side. the presiding officer: is there okay? so ordered. the senator from michigan. mr. levin: i would ask unanimous consent that dr. jim malakowski, an air force fellow assigned to the office of senator conrad be granted floor privileges for the remainder of the debate on s. 3254. the presiding officer: is there objection? so ordered. mr. mccain: i move to reconsider the last vote. a senator: are we in a quorum call? a senator: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from new hampshire is recognized. ms. ayotte: thank you, mr. president. i want to talk this morning about an amendment that i had intended to offer but i'm not going to be offering today because there are -- there is an important portion of the house armed services committee that covers my concerns, and that was the amendment that i had drafted that is cosponsored by senators lieberman and collins, and i appreciate their support. it would be to establish an east coast
, i -- the presiding officer: without objection, so ordered. mr. mccain: i thank my colleagues -- i think my colleagues and i who have been here for a while remember one of the more moving experiences. that was the signing of the disabilities law on the white house long. bipartisan members of the disabled community were there. the president of the united states, george herbert walker bush, and so many others. but also one of the prime individuals that was largely responsible was our beloved leader at that time, bob dole. a man who epitomized, in my view, how a disability can be overcome and go to the highest levels of american government. i freely admit that i love bob dole, i listen to him, i appreciate his leadership. i think the majority leader would agree that we appreciate his bipartisanship during a great deal of his time. i hope my colleagues would, before deciding to vote, at least listen to the letter that was addressed to all of us by senator bob dole. as you may know, tomorrow the senate -- that we received yesterday. as you may know, tomorrow the senate will vote on crpd
speculation. unworthy of their offices as senators. there was a time i regarded mr. mccain added gentleman. i'm sad this is not one of those moments. here we see this great center rushing off to a press event rather than going to a briefing on the facts in his zeal to vent and rant as a result of the elections. the comments that she is not so bright, not just for the, these comments beg the question when you look at her resonate, most of which you heard from our distinguished delegate eleanor holmes morton. we are asking for them to walk back those comments and joining me here -- i will stop my two- page comments at this point. i will call upon my good friend, the just-elected chair of the congressional black caucus, representative marsha fudge from the 11th district of ohio. >> thank you very much. i will be brief as well. when you lose, you get angry. when you lose you are disappointed. do not take it out of someone who did not have anything to do. blame yourself. how do you say that a person with susan rice's background is not qualified? i wonder what your qualifications are for your job.
negotiations. we now call upon senator mccain. >> thank you, mr. chairman. let me thank our distinguished witness for his many years of impressive service in uniform. let me start by saying a word about general john allen, our commander in afghanistan. we had expected him to testify today on his confirmation to be supreme allied commander. while the committee await the conclusion of the inspector general investigation, i continue to believe that general allen is one of our best military leaders and i continue to have confidence in his ability to lead the war in afghanistan as well as to serve in the post for which she is now being nominated. general dunford, but a grateful for your willingness to upset this appointment in afghanistan. i also believe if you are confirmed you will have a difficult road ahead of you. i think our mission in afghanistan is at a very serious and troubling crossroads. with the recent reporting, it is deeply worrisome. over the last few months, our enemies have been rather successful in carrying out its insider attacks that have killed and wounded many american t
davis, senator lindsey gramm, lt. governor jerry he -- kerry heli, governor bobby jindal, mrs. mccain senator john mccain, governor rick perry, senator marco rubio, senator rick santorum, governor john sununu, senator john thune, senator pat to me -- pat toomey, congressman steve javits. ladies and gentlemen, from the great state of ohio, lt. governor mary taylor. [applause] crowd: four more days! >> alright, you guys. are we ready to do everything we can in ohio to let mitt romney and paul ryan at the next president and vice president of the united states -- to elect mitt romney and paul ryan as the next president and vice president of the united states? this is outstanding. i have been a lot of campaign rallies over the last couple of weeks and i have decided i have boiled down my reasons to supporting mitt romney down to three. the first, president obama comes to ohio and like to take credit for getting our state back on track. but we know that is not true. it is the worst but governor kay sick and i have done with all of the -- it is the work that the governor and i have done with
better president in the second term than i was in the first. jonathan carl. >> thank you, mr. president. senator john mccain and senator lindsey graham said they want watergate-style hearings on benghazi and if you nominate susan rice to be secretary, they will do everything they can to stop that after her remarks on benghazi. >> i'm not going to comment on various nominations i'll put forward to fill out my cabinet for the second term. those are things that are still being discussed. but let me say specifically about susan rice. she has done exemplary work. she has represented the united states and our interests in the united nations with skill and professionalism and toughness and grace. as i've said before, she made an appearance at the request of the white house in which she gave her best understanding of the intelligence that had been provided to her. if senator mccain and senator graham and others want to go after somebody, they should go after me. and i'm happy to have that discussion with them. but for them to go after the u.n. ambassador who had nothing to do with benghazi and
. there was a time when i regarded mr. mccain as a gentleman. i am sad that this is not one of those moments. we see this great senator rushing off to a press event rather than going to the briefing on the facts. in his zeal to bend and ran -- to vent and rant as a result of the elections. the comments that she is not so bright, that she is untrustworthy -- these are comments that beg the question, when you look at her laudable resonate, much of which you heard from our distinguished delegates holmes nortmorton. so we are asking for them to walk back those comments. joining me here -- and i'm going to stop my comments at this point and call upon my good friend, the just elected chair of the congressional black caucus, rip marsha fudge from the district of ohio. -- rep. marcia fudge from the district of ohio. >> i am going to be brief also. i know when you lose, you get angry. but do not take it out on someone who had nothing to do with a loss. glenn yourself. how you say that someone was susan rice's background is not qualified? where did you finish in your class? i know one of them finished in the
it four years ago when he defeated mr. mccain. obviously it's the will of the people. and you know, if you study history and especially war history, you can see how stories change and intelligence gathering, how it works. it has a whole different science and meaning all on its own many you've got to allow these people to make statements, comment back and adjust these statements, then you do jeopardize lives. there are so many things at stake. we're living in a society now where we want to know so much, we want to know it now and be the first to report it. and intelligence especially that just doesn't work that way. they were wrong to criticize. they should take a step back and wait until all the information actually comes out and then come to a position. >> karen, i do want to ask you about the susan rice angle here. because in wednesday's press conference the president really gave a full defense of her. is she worth the political fight that will surely ensue if she becomes the nominee for secretary of state? >> absolutely. i mean, the president -- i mean, look. on a number of fronts. numb
mccain. >> thank you mr. chairman and i would like to thank our distinguished witness for joining us this morning and for his many years of impressive service in uniform. let me start by saying a word about general john allen, our commander in afghanistan, who we had expected to testify today on his nomination to be commander of the u.s. european command and supreme allied commander. while the committee wades the conclusion of the defense department's inspector general investigation, i continue to believe that general allen is one of our best military leaders and i continue to have confidence in his ability to lead the war in afghanistan as well as to serve and to post for which he has now been nominated. general dunford i'm grateful for your willingness to accept this nomination to serve as commander of u.s. forces in the international security assistance force in afghanistan, but i also believe that if you are confirmed you will have a difficult road ahead of you. i think our mission in afghanistan is a very serious and is at a very serious and troubling crossroads and much of the
john mccain suddenly disappeared from the campaign for about a month when someone brought up mr. adelson who was in is in jerusalem with his millions of dollars and mccain said that has nothing to do with support for israel. that money is from china. mr. adelson doesn't have anything. that is the sands corporation. does anyone remember the last time frank sinatra sang at the sands? i mean right now it's an old funky hotel. motel six doesn't have that many bed bugs and he said i was just at the sands. where does the sands get these millions in billions? the sands corporation at that little footprint, that piece of dirt in vegas but all their money is from macau, from china. you don't operate in china unless you are actually fronting for the princelings of the politburo. we know where that money has come from and we know why mr. romney, don't we? don't we? barack obama just put massive tariffs on auto parts from china and for all the china bashing that mr. romney is going to be doing tonight, take my word for it, he refused to back the tariffs on auto parts is almost all the auto
actually succeed or not and i thank you for your willingness to serve. i thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you, senator mccain. senator? >> i would like to begin by expressing my strong confidence in general dunford in every sense of the word. i have a tremendous respect for his leadership, his integrity and when you look at his bio, i don't think people have really looked at it very closely. the greatest reward in the marine corps for leadership is to give someone command. general dunford has commanded at three different levels. he has a master's in government from georgetown university. i have known him for more than 20 years. i think he is a person we need over there in this very difficult and complex assignment. he has a sense of duty i admire. he has a great understanding of the role of military. athlete -- as we have seen, he has unambiguous and direct policy advice. that is what we are going to need. we begin to sort out what direction the country should be going in. i would like to take up where senator lieberman left off in discussing this bilateral security agreement. as you know
president in the second term than i was in the first. joan than carl. -- jonathan karl. >> thank you, mr. president. senator john mccain and senator lindsey graham both said today they want to have watergate style hearings on the attack on the u.s. consulate in benghazi and said that if you nominate susan rice to be secretary of state they will do everything in their power to block her nomination as senator groom said, he simply doesn't trust ambassador rise after what she said about benghazi. i would like your reaction to that. would those threats deter you from making nomination like that? >> first of all i'm not going to comment on various nominations that i will put forward to fill out my cabinet for the second term. those are things that are still being discussed. but let me say specifically about susan rice. she has done exemplary work. she has represented the united states and our interests in the united nations with skill, and professionalism, and toughness, and grace. as i have said before, she made an appearance at the request of the white house in which she gave her best under
on his own terms. he was an ally to mr. romney and john mccain. this is really his first solo trip to is not cutting other people's jealousies. this was his chance to do this. he released a memoir last year. it is coming down to whether -- how he calibrates that and what kind of early support he can get. in these early voting states, state lawmakers, former state lawmakers, they are the makers in these states. everyone of them controls political support. early support really makes a difference when trying to set up county chairs. people who will let you come into their living rooms for a 15 person meeting. that support in the early voting states really makes or breaks a candidate. these are state for you have to person nd do 10-20 meetings and that is how you translate and national profile and to an early victory. host: what would your headline be? guest: just the fact that marco rubio is arriving less than 2 weeks after election day, that is an early headline. it is remarkable that they are starting to that the groundwork this early. i was just in las vegas and other candidates or
, mr. chairman. >> thank you very much, senator mccain. and general, let us now turn to you. >> chairman levin, senator mccain, members of the committee, thanks for the opportunity of you before you today. i'm honored the president has nominated me to commend international to commend international security assistance force and u.s. forces in afghanistan. joining me today is my wife, ellyn, whom are whom are very fortunate to have her love and support. she's a great mother to her three children, now young adults, and also serves as a times advocate for military families. she's unquestioned by the most valuable player in the dunford family. i'd like to begin by thanking this committee for their support for our soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines over the past 11 years of conflict. due to your leadership our young men and women in harm's way of well trained, well-equipped and well supported. their performance in the strength of our military families reflect that support. as we all know and september 11, 2001, members of al qaeda murdered almost 3000 innocent people. we know t
mccain heard that remark and took to the floor of the sen sat to respond. mr. president, four brave americans died. it has now been eight weeks and the american people have received nothing but contradick tri statements from all levels of our government. this administration has either been guilty of incompetence or engaged in a cover up neither of which is acceptable to the american people. >> there are still serious unanswered questions about the timeline of events. remarks in the days and weeks that followed. specifically, why didn't the the shirtless pictures of himself to her. you have heard that, so his lawyer lawrence berger goes on shirtless picture he sent to her was a joke and several years ago. and now we will listen to what the president has to say about the argument over susan rice. >> if senator graham and senator mccain want to go after somebody, they should go after me, and i'm happy to have that discussion, but for them to gof a u.n. ambassador who had nothing to do with benghazi and simply making a presentation on information she had receive and to besmirch her repu
this name back out there. mitt romney. from one republican who was defeated by the president john mccain to this the most recent in his wake, it is mr. romney. he's now offering an explanation for his defeat on a conference call with top donors, portions of which were were put online. >>> the president's campaign focused on certain members of the base coalition, give them extraordinary financial gifts for the government, and then work very aggressively to turn them out to vote. >> so the campaign is offering this statement. governor romney was simply elaborating on what obama senior strategist axelrod said about the effort to target key demographics, namely women. is this an example of why exactly romney lost? >> yes. it's basically what he said out loud in public. he confirmed that it was what he did think. it sounds like he really does think that. financial gifts to people is not really what happened. lots of republicans are really critical of this as well. they don't think it's helpful. mitt romney is going to be an irrelevant figure in the republican party any way. that is very unwis
. >> if senator mccain and senator graham and others want to go >> if senator mccain and senator i was once usedrs want to go for small jobs. and i took on all the bigger, tougher ones. but with mr. clean's new select-a-size magic eraser, he can take on any size job. at least we don't go near rex's mobile home as often. what are you, scared? [ dog barks ] aah! oh! [ male announcer ] new mr. clean select-a-size magic eraser. i'm a sheets girl, but i don't just put'em in the dryer to freshen up my clothes. i put'em in my shoes, i put'em in my car, i put'em in my vases. girl, i been put'n'em for as long as i can remember. [ male announcer ] how do you get your bounce? [ woman ] sheets, i put'em! >>> we are back. joined now by the man leading the charge against the obama administration and u.n. ambassador susan rice on the issue of benghazi. the senior senator from south carolina, republican lindsey graham. senator, let's get right into it. you just heard the chairs of the intelligence committees on benghazi. bottom line point, did director petraeus call this terrorism from the get go? they say yes.
as the to why he was so wrong back on september 14th. >> mr. chairman, that of course is a lot of the same explanation that susan rice, the u.s. ambassador to the united nations gave. and it's an explanation that gave senators john mccain and lindsey graham highly critical over. so critical, they say they would block any nomination of her to become secretary of state. i'm sure you have heard this clip by now already, but that upset president obama very much in his news conference yesterday. let's listen. >> as i've said before, she made an appearance at the request of the white house, in which she gave her best understanding of the intelligence that had been provided to her. if senator mccain and senator graham and others want to go after somebody, they should go after me. >> so, mr. chairman, you know, the president, obviously, very critical there. you have called for susan rice's resignation. however, she had the same information that david petraeus had, apparently given by the dni, apparently given to people who were doing interviews. how does that square? >> actually, i think we'll fin
upset. let's send this back to senator mccain. go ahead, sir. you were going to jump in and answer both of them. >> i don't expect mr. martin or mr. lizza to understand our veterans. i know them. i've seen them out there. by the way, this was the sixth -- sixth jobs bill that we have. we have six jobs programs. the point is veterans do care what happens to other veterans. veterans are upset. maybe mr. lizza doesn't understand that and i wouldn't expect him to, to tell you the truth. the fact is veterans care about this and there's been a cover-up for seven weeks. for seven weeks we haven't been able to get an answer out of the president of the united states. mr. lizza and mr. martin, i respect their views. i don't think it's grounded in any experience. i thank you for having me on. >> hold on one second. margaret hoover, jump in, please. >> senator mccain's right. also these are key states. colorado, virginia, florida, nevada where you have large military populations. and this is one of several issues that people are considering. even if jobs and the economy is at the top, this is part
at the mouth and saying anything at any time trying to hoodwink the voters. he missed his chance to beat mccain, then he would have made -- had time to make the tough decisions obama has made. now that the obama administration has made the tough decisions, now mr. romney was to take credit and hoodwink the voters. he had a fair chance to win in 2008 and then he could decide to implement policies as far as foreign policy, health care, jobs. host: we will get a response from barbara comstock, who is one of the chairs of the romney for virginia campaign. guest: i would just quote joe biden -- the middle class has been buried over the past four years. they have been buried because this president's economic policies failed. the president said when he came in his trillion dollars stimulus would get unemployment well under where it is now. he said that he was going to cut the debt that was $10 trillion in half, down to $5 trillion. now it is $16 children. he failed by a factor of three times what he said he was going to do. his health care bill, a huge government monstrosity, not something done at the
you so much. i'm from the united states. thank you, mr. mackay for your hospitality this year. this is a brilliant events. i have to say thank you to senator mccain for your service to our country and your calendar, as usual. -- your candor. the title -- of the really are the good guys -- have the special burden. for the first time have been convened in halifax, canada is in the chair of the arctic council. after canada's chairmanship it will be the united states. there are only eight nations making up the arctic council, but the whole world is interested. china is interested in maritime commerce potential and the resources and the potential for a car rental catastrophes, which is very gigantic there as well. rescue missions, etc. what is the special burdens of canada and the united states with respect to the arctic council and should countries like china be allowed observance status? do think the next congress will ratify the treaty? if not, why not? >> the special burden, the role of the arctic council members, all of whom are democracies, one of the -- one of the underpinni
this bill down and start in the next week and put on the floor the bills that mr. gutierrez and myself and many others at one time senator mccain, wanted to put on the floor of the senate and the house. my concern is that we try to come in a bipartisan manner. i introduced legislation, an amendment in the markup to say that let's study this issue of fraud with diversity visas. let's assess what it is, because we have evidence that in fact the alleged fraud was because of a computer error, not people applying. 15 million have applied. only 50,000 have been able to get the diversity visa. and those, some of them are after can immigrants, 50% of them, but they equal only 1% of the legal current residents. this whole question of terrorism just troubles me. i went to the rules committee in the spirit of bipartisanship to say eliminate the provision on diversity visas. we can then support you. keep the underlying premise of this legislation. i even asked that the rollover be extended because there is no evidence that you can get 55,000 spent in four years. if you're serious about creating jo
in this caucus called the laz russ caucus, given up for dead and we came back. john mccain, joe lieberman and trent lott. the reason joe came back was mrs. lieberman. what a wonderful lady she is. >> so have you finished your rounds? >> i'm sorry. i had to do that because i do appreciate this opportunity. what happened? i came to the congress in 1972 as a young freshman congressman. served as whip during the reagan years in the house. came to the senate in 1989 with joe. i was a partisan warrior. the house tends to make you a partisan warrior. every day you get up trying to figure out how to beat the enemies and that's the democrats. after a few months i said, i'm not getting done here. i have to change my attitude. i am going to find a way to make this place work for the things i believe in. so i started working on that. what happened over the years, a number of things. number one, our biggest enemy in terms of getting things done is the airplane. people go home. particularly in the house. >> we had a statistic that 20% of the members of the house sleep in their office. >> they sleep in
trying to hoodwink the voters. he missed his chance to beat mccain, then he would have made decisions obama has made. now that the obama administration has made the tough decisions, now mr. romney wants to take credit and hoodwink the voters. he had a fair chance to win in 2008 and then he could decide to implement policies as far as foreign policy, health care, jobs. host: we will get a response from barbara comstock, who is one of the chairs of the romney for virginia campaign. guest: i would just quote joe biden -- the middle class has years. they have been buried because this president's economic policies failed. the president said when he came would get unemployment wellhe said that he was going to cut the debt that was $10 trillion in half, down to $5 trillion. now it is $16 children. he failed by a factor of three times what he said he was going to do. his health care bill, a huge government monstrosity, not level, would end up costing us $2,500 more in premiums when he that it would be $2,500 less. the president himself said if he did not get this done, if he did not turn this
, how he should be tried for treason. people make sharp statements. i remember john mccain reacting to a statement like that in 2008, just drawing the line and saying what kind of a person mr. obama was. in this case, mitt romney just passed it by. the sentiments are so strong, you don't want to confront or engage that. he said when asked by reporters later to be true, of course not. the house republican budget. committee. is now preceding to do two things. to insist on lower overall discretionary spending, that was agreed to in the law that came at the end of that dreadful process of holding the debt ceiling hostage. so unilaterally they declared that a floor for cuts and not a ceiling. now as a way of avoiding a vote sequestration of the defense budget propose a really remarkable search of additional cutbacks, and means tested programs of one sort or another. i even saw the most lucid and analytic of reporters, david rogers, show his emotion in the course of writing about that. and of course we had yesterday, successful republican filibuster on senate democratic plan for setting e
, we were equal in war but not in peace. with that, mr. speaker, i sincerely hope our colleagues in the senate, senator -- chairman levin and ranking member, distinguished republican senator, a dear friend as well, john mccain, and all the noves senate armed services committee make this a positive aspect and to the gentlelady from the district of columbia, i cannot help but say more. 6 humbings,000 u.s. citizens live in her district, they pay federal income taxes and yet she's denied the right to vote on the floor. it's unbecoming to democracy. mr. speaker, i thank you for your patience and yield back. ms. norton: mr. speaker, how much time remains? the speaker pro tempore: 30 seconds remain. ms. norton: we have heard movingly from my three colleagues, i hope the senate has been as moved as i was by hearing from them. i want only to say, mr. speaker, you've heard from all of us who are american citizens who represent american citizens and american sints who fight and have fought for their country, who were pleased and continue to volunteer in disproportionate numbers into the arm
, boxer, leahy and tester. i would ask my colleagues to approve the amendment. mr. mccain: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from arizona. mr. mccain: this amendment which was unanimously approved by the committee as a provision and it would review the plan to reduce civilian and contractual personnel by 5%. right now the president's budget request, not counting sequester, would reduce military personnel by 123,900 men and women serving in the military, or 5.5% over five years. since 2001, the civilian personnel and department of defense has increased by 100,000, 16% increase, and a 37% increase in civilian pay costs. the department of defense continues to be top-heavy with headquarters. the office of the secretary will grow by 25% from 2001 to 2017. we all know the department of defense is being downsized so there has to be obviously a commensurate reduction in civilians, which is actually less than what is contemplated in the military. this was unanimously reported, and i have had conversations with the secretary of defense who agrees that we need to reduce the civilian
, the amendment of senator hagan second, and i yield the floor. mr. mccain: that would take approximately 30 minutes? before the vote. mr. levin: i think senator cornyn only needs about five minutes. we've cleared that amendment, support for it. senator hagan only needs i believe five minutes. that means that in about 10 minutes. mr. mccain: 10 minutes and we'd be ready to vote. mr. levin: unless there are others who wish to speak. the presiding officer: the senator from texas. mr. cornyn: madam president, i thank the distinguished chair of the armed services committee and ranking member for their work with us on this important amendment. the veterans administration defines a backlog claim as one that's been pending more than 125 days. scandalously, there are 600,000 plus backlog claims in the veterans administration system and about two-thirds of all pending claims are backlogged. now, there's been a lot of attention, particularly in my state and across the country by veterans to this really unacceptable situation. in my state we have currently backlogged at the veterans regional office in
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